June 29, 2010 2:14 PM
Abandoning their preparations for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, residents along the Texas coast, operating with one eye on the weather forecast, are instead preparing for the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Alex. Alex is the first storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which is forecast to have a higher than usual number of tropical storms and hurricanes. Many workers attempting to contain the BP oil spill have also had to evacuate, delaying BP’s oil containment efforts, although Alex is not expected to hit the oil spill area. The National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center, which are tracking Alex with satellite images, have forecast that Alex will become a hurricane later today. According to hurricane tracking software, it could make landfall anywhere between Baffin Bay, near Kingsville, and La Cruz, Mexico. When Alex does reach land, it is expected to have become a category 1 hurricane. [More]
December 31, 2009 3:38 AM
One of Alaska's volcanoes, Mt. Redoubt, is beginning to rumble again. Volcanologists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory have put Redoubt on a code yellow state of alert. Code yellow means that Redoubt is showing signs of unrest, beyond its normal background level. Volcanologists use a four-tiered color coding system: green means activity levels are normal and that scientists do not expect an imminent eruption, yellow means that there are signs of unrest, orange means that there has been increasing unrest with a strong potential for eruption, and red means that the volcano is currently erupting.
Most Alaskans are not worried about having to evacuate from their homes -- most live too far from Mt. Redoubt for their lives to be in any danger from an eruption -- but Alaskans do worry about the possibility of an ashfall. It is not unusual for clouds of ash to spew from Alaska's volcanoes as they become more active. To protect machinery and sensitive equipment from ash contamination, it is wise to cover and store them during any periods of ashfall. [More]